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AR# 18077

7.1i CORE Generator - New IP Core Licenses are not found using the XIL_CG_LICENSE_DIR variable


Keywords: flex_lm, Macrovision, directory, search, path, LogiCORE, XILINXD_LICENSE_FILE, LM_LICENSE_FILE

I am using the XIL_CG_LICENSE_DIR variable to point to license files needed for specific IP Cores. However, this variable does not seem to work with the new FlexLM-based licenses for Xilinx cores.



Beginning with release 6.3i, Xilinx began delivering both FlexLM-based and Xilinx proprietary format licenses for IP Cores which required an additional license.

In some situations, it might be desirable to place the licenses somewhere other than your HOMEDRIVE (Windows) or HOME (UNIX and Linux) directory. For this case, an environment variable called XIL_CG_LICENSE_DIR can be used to point to the directory where the Xilinx proprietary format license files reside. However, for the FlexLM-based licenses, the XILINXD_LICENSE_FILE variable should be used.

Set XILINXD_LICENSE_FILE to the directory containing IP LogiCORE license files.

The LM_LICENSE_FILE variable can also be used. However, Macrovision suggests the use of the Xilinx-specific XILINXD_LICENSE_FILE variable.


A large number of cores included with the CORE Generator software do not require a license. More complex system level cores require the purchase of an additional license and can also offer a free evaluation license. Cores which require electronic license keys may be included in the ISE release CD, or added via subsequent IP Updates.

Information about Xilinx Licenses is available on the Xilinx Web site at:

Various types of licenses may be available:

Full System Hardware Evaluation license
A Full System Hardware Evaluation license enables you to evaluate the operation of a core in a programmed Xilinx device. A core which supports Full System Hardware Evaluation enables you to:

- Integrate the core into the rest of your design
- Process the design through MAP, Place and Route
- Generate a bitstream
- Program the design into your target Xilinx/ FPGA
- Perform timing simulation and static timing analysis
- Review all documentation found in the full product offering

If you generate a bitstream and then program an FPGA using a core that has a Full System Evaluation license, the core will stop working in the programmed device after 2-8 hours, depending on the core. To get the device working again, you must reload the bitstream (reset or reprogram the device).

Full Release IP license
A Full Release IP license enables you to access the full functionality of the official released version of a licensed core.

You can determine the license status of a core from the core selection window by right-clicking the licensing icon next to a core name and selecting View License Status in the right-click menu.

Licenses for hardware evaluation and full functionality access can be requested from the product page for the core, which can be found using the Advanced Search for IP (Locator for IP Solutions) link on the Xilinx IP Center Web page at:

To obtain a license key, you typically need to register for the lounge and fill out an online request form. For full release core licenses, you will also need to provide a serial number. Consult the applicable product page in the IP Center for specific instructions, and follow the instructions for installing the license. Once you have done this, you should be able to use the core in either evaluation or full release mode.


Installing IP Licenses
Windows Users: You should install your licenses to the drive where your HOMEDRIVE environment variable points, using any unzipping utility (e.g., WinZip). The emailed license ".zip" archive contains the requested license keys in a specific directory structure, so be sure to preserve the directory structure of the ".zip" file when extracting its contents. (In WinZip, this is done by making sure that the "Use folder names" checkbox is checked.) To determine your HOMEDRIVE value, enter the following MS-DOS command:


Solaris and Linux Users: Install your licenses to your HOME directory. For a typical configuration, you can determine your HOME directory by entering the following shell command:

<unix-shell> echo $HOME
# Navigate to your home directory unix-shell> cd # Extract the licenses unix-shell> unzip core_licenses.zip

Windows: The installed license files have ".lic" extensions and should be located in: C:\.Xilinx\Coregen\CoreLicenses\ (Note the "." prefix in the "Xilinx" folder name)

Solaris and Linux: The installed license files have ".lic" extensions and should be located in ~/.Xilinx/Coregen/CoreLicenses/
AR# 18077
Date Created 09/03/2007
Last Updated 04/07/2009
Status Archive
Type General Article